The elevator pitch for Lil Nas X’s “Rodeo (Remix)” video with Nas must have been something like this:
Lil Nas X: “Look, I think if we made The Matrix but with zombified vampires instead, that would be great.”
Nameless Executive: “Um, what?”
Lil Nas X: “Trust me. I made ‘Old Town Road.’ Then I made ‘Panini.’ I got this.”
And so it was born. Lil Nas X’s blood-sucking, bullet-dodging new video for “Rodeo (Remix)” is one of the most wickedly original things you’ll see. It stars LNX himself as a vampire (although “zombie” also feels like a fair assumption) and Nas as a Morpheus-type figure dealing with an outbreak of monsters that eat blood-flavored Doritos for breakfast.
In this weird world, Lil Nas X appears to be Neo (Lil Neo X?). He gets a phone call from Morpheus, inviting him to play a game. Immediately after, he gets bitten and immediately begins turning into a vampiric zombie, wandering down a dark street with glowing fangs ready for human blood. Neighbors watch him from the street with crucifixes and harsh eyes, wishing desperately that this cursed beast will leave the street. Someone even fires a crossbow at him, though he catches it with an evil grin on his face.
He makes it to a store where other vampire/zombies eat Doritos and learn dance routines to take over the world with. In one of the back offices, Big Nas holds up, seemingly ready to go to war with these monsters. The legendary rapper also holds the red and blue pills that force whoever consumes one of them to pick between ignorance and knowledge.
It’s implied that Lil Nas X takes the reality pill because he returns to human form again and wears a sleek outfit that looks like it’s straight out of The Matrix – down to those adorably teeny-weenie glasses that the movie’s cast wore. He gets into a confrontation with Agent Smith-style bad guys, dodges bullets, and literally jumps to the moon.
Yeah, it moves very fast.
Lil Nas X and Nas premiered this version of “Rodeo” at the Grammys, where the former won the trophies for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video for “Old Town Road (Remix).” The original “Rodeo” featured Cardi B and appeared on Lil Nas X’s 2019 EP, 7.